Bobby Ryan, Anaheim Ducks contract talks hit a snag because of term, not dollar amounts

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ducksthreeforwards.jpgNow that the Ilya Kovalchuk saga is (more or less) complete, we can move on to some other contract negotiations. Take, for instance, the somewhat public troubles the Anaheim Ducks have undergone while trying to sign restricted free agent Bobby Ryan.

Some more details regarding what, exactly, is slowing down the talks surfaced today. It turns out that the snag is actually more about the length of the deal, rather than the amount of the money. Amusingly named Orange County Register beat writer Randy Youngman has more details.

The Ducks have offered him a five-year, $25 million deal, slightly less than $5.3 million average salaries in the contracts signed previously by linemates Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. The money is fine, but Ryan apparently believes he’ll be worth more in the final years of that proposal so he woul prefer a shorter term deal.

So why not compromise and offer Ryan three years for $15 million? Sounds like a simple solution, right? Not exactly. On a shorter term, the Ducks would offer Ryan less than $5 million a year because it would not buy out a year of his free agency. And the Ducks don’t want all of their young stars’ contracts to expire at the same time, because it would make it difficult – if not impossible – to re-sign all of them and remain under the salary cap.

The Getzlaf and Perry contracts run through the 2012-13 NHL season, and a three-year Ryan contract would run out at the same time. So it’s safe to say the eventual Ryan deal will be for anything but three years.

Wait, so the Ducks don’t want to sign him to a 17 year, $50 million deal or something? What are these “under a decade” contracts you speak of?

Youngman points out that a four-year deal wouldn’t make much sense for Anaheim because that also wouldn’t buy out a year of Ryan’s unrestricted free agency. A three-year contract would be bad for the Ducks while a five-year one would hurt Ryan’s wallet. Therein lies the conundrum.

Still, it sounds like this is more of a speed bump in their talks than anything the Ducks need to be too concerned about. If anything changes, though, we’ll let you know.